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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Nov 2018 right left

   
01
02

The Big Sweep

Saturday 3rd November
North Road steps or Billy Neill crossing on The Comber Greenway
N/A

Hedge Maintenance

Sunday 4th November
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh
N/A

05
06
07

Green Key Eco–certification for the hospitality industry

Thursday 8th November
Allstate NI Belfast, 10 Mays Meadow, Belfast BT1 3PH
Free

09

BTO Northern Ireland Birdwatchers’ Conference 2018

Saturday 10th November
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
£23 per person if you book and pay by 31 October and £25 after that date

11

Webinar – The Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Better Retail, Better World

Monday 12th November
Online
Free

13

Getting Our Act Together: Human Rights, Our Environment & Brexit

Wednesday 14th November
Green Room, The Black Box, Belfast
Free

15
16
17

Scrub Clearance

Sunday 18th November
Slievenacloy Nature Reserve, Belfast Hills
No Charge

Family Festive Film Fun

Sunday 18th November
Rowallen Garden
Adult £7.00, Child £3.50, Family £17.50

Agriculture & Animal Welfare Post–Brexit

Monday 19th November
Leigh Day, Priory House, 25 St John’s Lane, London EC1M 4LB
Free

20
21
22
23

Is Local Democracy Working in Northern Ireland?

Saturday 24th November
Clifton House, 2 North Queen Street, Belfast BT15 1ES
Free

Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday 24th November
Castle Ward
Normal Admission

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27
28
29
30
 
 

Post–Brexit risk “significant” 24 January 2018

Significant risk of reduced environmental protections post–Brexit, reports Greener UK coalition

 

EU

 

Greener UK has today published its latest Brexit Risk Tracker, which assesses the UK government’s performance in planning for a green Brexit. It has found that all main areas of environmental policy are still at medium or even high risk of being less protected after we leave the EU.

The government recently published its 25–year plan for the environment, including a pledge to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste by 2042 and plans to consult on a new environmental watchdog. However, Greener UK, a coalition of leading environmental organisations, has found few signs that the environment is a priority for the government in Brexit negotiations, despite the significant impact Brexit could have.

For example, the Risk Tracker finds that air quality, chemicals and waste are still at high risk of seeing lower protection post–Brexit. The UK is in breach of the Ambient Air Quality Directive and its most recent plan in July 2017 was largely similar to a widely criticised earlier draft. Accompanying guidance to local authorities has lacked detail to meet important legal tests. Greener UK is concerned that the government’s approach is an indication of its likely approach to air quality after the UK leaves.

On chemicals, the UK has asserted that it wants to adopt important rules imposed by the EU regulatory regime, REACH, but campaigners have made it clear that this would be far less effective than staying in REACH with access to its database of safety information. On waste, despite the government’s announcement on plastic, Greener UK highlights that WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) has just announced the loss of around 25 jobs, a tenth of its staff, after years of budget cuts from government.

Recommendations

To deliver a green Brexit, Greener UK believes that better co–operation is needed both with the EU and within the UK, and that concerns around capacity to deliver a green Brexit must be resolved.

Greener UK points to disagreements between the UK and EU on emissions trading as exposing divisive tactics that threaten high environmental standards and future collaboration with the EU. The coalition also points to a forum of UK and devolved government ministers responsible for planning Brexit, which has so far demonstrated little commitment to adopting common frameworks that would ensure a high level of environmental protection across the UK.

The Risk Tracker also highlights particular concerns about the capacity of government to plan for and deliver a green Brexit. A recent National Audit Office report has prompted questions about Defra’s capacity to deliver the second most demanding Brexit workload of all departments and to maintain current environmental standards while sustaining significant budget cuts.

Shaun Spiers, chair of Greener UK and executive director of Green Alliance, said:

“Michael Gove has been a highly engaged and effective environment secretary and the prime minister has promised to put the environment at the centre of government policy.

“Yet these green aspirations have not carried over to the government’s narrative on Brexit. There are serious concerns about the level of future co–operation between the UK government and the EU, and the impact this will have on issues such as climate change and air quality. We also fear there is a lack of willpower to ensure high standards across the UK when we lose the common frameworks currently provided by the EU.

“In the last fortnight the government has pledged to be a global leader on plastic waste, but has made swingeing cuts to one of the main bodies charged with reducing it. There are big questions about whether the government is willing to devote the resources necessary to deliver a green Brexit.

“As the government has said, Brexit presents opportunities to restore and enhance our environment. This will not happen without adequate resources and better co–operation between the UK government and the EU, and within the UK.”

Read the full press release here…